Archive for April, 2009

Why do I Play Better in Practice vs. Tournaments?

April 30th, 2009

I have recently received this question from a couple of my students and I think it comes up often enough that I would share with the group. In my experience, there are two categories of tournament golfers. One group plays better in tournaments than practice and the other group plays better in practice than tournaments.

This discussion will be for group number two. The main reason that I see is that in tournaments, the player plays differently than they play in practice. Most, not all, of the players I’m referring to play more aggressive in practice than they do in tournaments. They seem to always second guess their decisions and try to play “smart”. They approach similar situations so differently that their practice is so far removed from how they actually play.
The only thing this accomplishes is that it creates indecision and frustration. Make your decision and go with it. Trust your gut and be yourself.

There area also those people that don’t trust thier swing when they get in tournaments. This is very common. Learning how to let go is a scary proposition. It is usually just mind over matter. Telling yourself that your swing is good enough and to let it just happen while being prepared to accept the results is the key to overcoming this fear. Just like in practice, there is a sense of not caring about the result because it doesn’t mean anything. This is actually the same mind frame you want for tournaments. Not caring is a mental freedom that lets your athleticism come out and play its role.

Trackman vs Flightscope

April 27th, 2009
In recent blogs, I have mentioned the importance I put on the data that Trackman measures. I have a demo with Flightscope on Saturday, May 16th. Both machines record the same information and it comes down to accuracy and ease of use.

I was initially disappointed when I had my Trackman demo because the machine had a difficult time picking up short/mid iron data off grass. I have learned recently that this data can be gathered more consistently with a good set-up and consistent ball striking location.

More details about my Flightscope demo will come….

Ok, so here are my results from the Flightscope Kudo. I’m sorry to say for the Flightscope’s sake that Trackman is way more accurate. I used the same players in both demo’s knowing there angle of attack and other variables and Flightscope was way off. Not only was it way off but it said up angle of attack when anyone could see a down angle of attack.


The two machines seemed similar in terms of ball tracking. Similar data with carry distance and spin rates. The weird part was the the flightscope data didn’t match the ball flight. There were instances when the angle of attack and launch angle of the ball didn’t match. This discrepancy is why Flightscope Kudo can not be a teaching tool and isn’t that great of a fitting tool.

The trackman is significantly more expensive but you get what you pay for. What you are paying for is accuracy. The newer versions will include video of the swing at the same time with graphics showing face and path to better help explain ball flight.

Trackman is the hands down better device.

Swing Mechanics or Ball Flight?

April 9th, 2009
The answer to this question will determine how quickly good information is added to your motion.

I see all too often people trying to learn a result before they learn a motion. I may have just had a lesson with that person and as I watch them practice, I can see them trying to make the ball go straight instead of trying to learn the motion that will make the ball go straight.

How is this line of thinking beneficial? Why would someone pay for information intended to help and disregard the information before you’ve learned how to accomplish it. Now, it is true that some people don’t want to change what they do but they want the ball to change what it does. Those people may be looking to get back to where they were and not move ahead to a better place. That, I can respect and understand.

However, for the person who wants to change from a 90 to 70 shooter without working on their shortgame or on ball flight improvement, it confuses me. I know many people play this game for fun. I guess it depends on how you define fun.

When you go out to practice, make sure you have a goal. Whether it is mechanics or ball flight, you need a goal. Don’t go out with one goal and go through 4 others on the way. You will not improve this way. I mean, would you decide to go out for a nice dinner and on the way decide to try fast food and still end up satisfied that you had a nice meal. I don’t think so. If you want that nice meal, save your money, make a date and do it. Don’t say you want it, eat at McD’s and wonder why it didn’t taste that great.

Golf Lessons in Rochester, NY

April 2nd, 2009
I’ve been teaching in Rochester for almost 10 years now and it still amazes me how good some players are from this area. This is a short season. There’s no other way to look at it. Still, some very good golfers come from this area. Jeff Sluman being the only major champion but mulitiple players at SEC powerhouse golf schools, NCAA Player of the Year and some great junior players have come from this town.

I wish I could teach year round as I’m sure you wish you could play year round. I’ve made it a goal to try and be the best teacher in a 20 mile area. I want my students beating everyone else. I will always be searching for better ways to do things, say things, show things and teach things. I don’t think it is a bad thing to learn from mistakes. I have never had a hard time admitting mistakes. I’ve always felt it showed how much I cared to tell someone I did it wrong and here’s how we fix it.

Every year, I feel like I learn so much in the offseason that I wonder if I wouldn’t be as good a teacher if I taught all year. Would I have enough time to find out all the information coming down the pike? I don’t know and I don’t see me moving in the foreseeable future.

So, if you are looking for golf lessons in Rochester, you have come to the right place. I don’t believe there is one best way for everyone and I have just as much fun teaching a beginner as I do helping someone try to make golf a career.  You can find out more about me and how the schedule a lesson at my home website.

Hopefully, one of my students will reach a point in their life where they can play the game they love and raise a family from the money earned on the course.